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Your Outdoor Adventure

This assignment ran from Jul 1 to Jul 22, 2016.

Adventure is a broad and personal experience that can be as large as climbing a tall mountain or as small as photographing life at the macro level in your garden. It’s rooted in becoming emerged in an experience, curiosity, or discovery. I believe that photography offers this level of stimulation and engagement freely.

In many ways this next assignment is a blank canvas, which really is a photographer’s dream shoot. I was fortunate to get an assignment with similar parameters last year from National Geographic Traveler: a road trip through Montana from point A to point B, with no agenda along the way but to go find photos. It pushed me harder having no definitive target out of the gate. In situations like this, you have to create the target, which in itself is an adventure. It requires location research, building out a creative shot list, finding the light, and working through self-designed deadlines to ensure you hit each location and avoid coming up empty handed. It’s a real motivator.   

This is an opportunity to think big. Plan a weekend road trip, break through creative barriers by seeing the same scene differently, try new techniques like mid-day long exposures by stacking filters, light-paint a scene at night, or get a $10 fish tank to put your camera in to photograph an over and under in a pond or river. Add some self-inflicted pressure into the equation by giving yourself a deadline. These might sound like crazy ideas, but I personally did each one (even the fish tank) on my most recent assignment for National Geographic, when I was photographing the affects climate change is having on America’s national parks. It pushed me to look past the beauty of the parks, dig a little deeper, examine the issues that are threatening our parks, and shoot them in a new light.

I’m convinced that the camera is the gateway to adventure and this assignment is the ideal proving ground. I’m looking forward to being blown away with the images you all create! 

In return for the Sponsor's support of this Assignment, National Geographic may provide images from the Assignment to the Sponsor (Bass Pro) for its use on its website, social media platforms, and other outlets to promote and publicize the Assignment.

Curated by:

Keith Ladzinski
National Geographic Photographer
Assignment Status
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  • Published

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Published Aug 1, 2016.
Thank you for your contributions!

New Perspectives

Posted jul 12, 2016

Thank you all for your submissions., I’ve been seeing some incredible images come through, and it’s got me itching to see some of these places for myself., Great work!

I wanted to send along a note of encouragement to keep pushing yourself to find new angles on your adventure—; to get low and shoot from the ground;, break out that tripod and experiment with some slow shutter speeds;, try motion pans with your action photos;, use a flash to fill in some day time shadows; or use a headlamp in a dark place at night to create a new look. Continue to experiment and take chances for yourself in creative ways. Looking forward to seeing more great images in the coming days ahead., Happy shooting!

Keith Ladzinski

Keith Ladzinski

National Geographic Photographer
Keith Ladzinski is a globally published advertising and editorial photographer, director of photography, documentarian and adventure sports filmmaker. His work has taken him to the most remote reaches of all 7 continents. He is a highly decorated award-wining photographer and filmmaker. Keith’s work has been seen in National Geographic, American Photo, PDN and the International Library of Photography.